No matter how old we grow, the child within each one of us gets excited every year when it comes to welcoming Santa Claus to our homes. While each year it is Santa who pays us a visit, how about visiting his homeland once to Rovaniemi in Finland? This official home of Santa Claus is the capital of the Finnish northern part called Lapland. Rovaniemi is located at a distance of 5 km from the southern part of the Arctic Circle and has the river Kemijoki flowing by it.
The area covered by Rovaniemi is 8,016.72 sq km which has a population of 61,000. Rovaniemi is currently a modern town which despite of getting destroyed in the year 1944, during World War II, was rebuilt on the plan of Alvar Aalto. In the contemporary times, the important streets of Rovaniemi are known to have been built a way to resemble the antlers of a reindeer. Apart from its own attractions, Rovaniemi also serves as an important stopover for someone who wishes to explore Lapland. This is because, not only it has the best options of accommodation in the land but also, as it is the transport hub so, the process of hiring cars or other transport facilities also become easy from Rovaniemi.
The existence of population in Rovaniemi dates back to very early times with people migrating to this part of Lapland from various directions. The native population of the town is called Sami. With time both the over ground and underground natural resources of Rovaniemi attracted more and more people to this extreme north. Apart from lumber, mining has also been a flourishing trade of the region. However, the most important industry of Rovaniemi is known to be tourism. Despite Rovaniemi’s extreme location, the region enjoys eight separate seasons all of which are made a pleasure for the tourists with numerous activities which keep the calendars filled.
The town has some landmarks points which are always visited by the tourists who come to this part. These are the Jätkänkynttilä Bridge standing on the Kemijoki River which has a flame called the ‘Lumberjacks Candle’, the Arktikum house within which you can see the Finnish museum exhibiting the various findings of the Arctic region, and the famous theatre or concert destination of the town namely the Rovaniemi Town Hall. Apart from these there is certainly the hometown of Santa Claus known as the Santa Claus Village where you can meet the white bearded saint all across the year.
Even the neighbouring mountains of Ounasvaara are known to be a favourite tourist destination for skiing through the snowy hills and forests. In addition to the buildings above mentioned attractions, the one other phenomenon drawing tourists to Lapland is the Aurora Borealis which is also known as the Northern Lights which is a brilliant display of lights observed in the higher altitude regions.
The best way of reaching Rovaniemi is through train from Helsinki, Turku, or Tampere. There is also an airport which is located at a distance of 10 km from the city centre.